What to Do When Your Income is Inconsistent

August 13, 2018 Practice Administration 0

income is inconsistentToday I want to talk about a topic that I hear about occasionally, and that’s about what to do when your income is inconsistent.  You have times when your revenue is up and down, but it’s not really a consistent, revenue-generating stream you can count on and rely on to cover all your overhead, expenses, payroll, etc. every single month. That’s a lot of stress which is not very pleasant.

The first thing I want to tell you to do is don’t panic. None of us make good decisions when we’re in a state of panic. You’re going to have to take a deep breath and try to stay calm. You’re going to have to do a brain dump in terms of looking at some historical numbers, where you are now, and taking time to think through what may have changed that’s causing some of those inconsistencies. You’re going to have to think that through a little bit. Oftentimes it’s helpful to talk to someone on the outside, whether it’s your accountant, business coach, business partner, or some other leader that you respect that can help you take a critical look at your business and see what might be causing some of those inconsistencies.

You also want to take the time to cut out some fluff.  Sometimes we get so used to certain habits. Back in the day it used to be very common for the Physician to order lunch.  So they’d bring lunch in for everybody every day and that was covered. It’s not really necessary anymore, especially at a weight loss practice. You want to make sure you’re people are having lunch, but you want to endure that your people are making their own healthy choices. So there’s no need for you to do those sorts of things. Cut out the fluff. You could cut out subscriptions.

You need to critically evaluate your billing and collections. If yours is a cash-pay practice, then that’s great.  But are staff really collecting everything upfront? If everything get paid for the services that are provided? Do people have outstanding accounts with balances? You need to take a look at those monthly metrics. I’m a big numbers girl so I have systems in place to make sure they can take a look at all of their metrics and make sure that the money systems are in place. You also want to take a look at billing and collections if you’re billing with insurances. It’s so easy for claims to just get hung up out there for simple reasons:  lack of documentation, authorization wasn’t attached, incorrect code. So take a look at all of those and making sure your billing collections are manageable and aren’t getting out of hand. New systems have to be put into place to go after those claims before the timeframe passes that you can actually submit them. I’ve had this happen to me as well where you’re utilizing an outside company and all of a sudden you’re not their priority because they have a bigger account. Your accounts aren’t really getting in there in a timely fashion or they’re not being billed for at all. There are certain things you can always delegate. Finances are not one of them. You’ve got to have a handle on it. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got your metrics in place and that you’re looking at it each and every month. Take a look at that because you might have claims out there that haven’t even been billed. That can be big dollar amounts to bring into your practice to help provide additional revenue.

You also want to focus on what it is you do best.  You have a unique niche that you need to focus on. You can also look at some revenue generating streams that complement the services that you provide. That can be something that’s really easy to do.  I work a lot with weight loss bariatricians and bariatric surgeons.  If they’re not maximizing their retail revenue, that’s an easy fix. Also patient referrals and some programs can help generate some additional revenue. So look at some complementary services. Make sure it’s complementary to the core services that you provide. Then implement what makes sense for you. These are some of the ‘simple’ things you need to stay calm and evaluate right away to see if they’re causing some of the inconsistencies in your practice.

I hope you find this helpful. I hope you’re not in that situation where you’re having inconsistencies. But if you are, don’t despair. There are ways to look at that and help fix your revenue.  One of the important things is not to panic and stay calm so you can think straight and work through that. Make sure you surround yourself with people who are helpful. Take a look at what it is that you’re offering. Is there any fluff? Are there services that you can add? What makes sense for your practice and then move forward from there.

I hope that’s helpful. If you would like any assistance or I can help in any way contact me at: karol@weightlosspracticebuilder.com

There are a lot of free resources on the website that can be of assistance. I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, take care.